It’s been really hot and humid in New York for the past few days. I know because I’ve been doing some gardening, and I finish up each planting session drenched in sweat (and caked with dirt). When it’s this hot, I can’t help thinking about ice cream, and not just for dessert. A small scoop is a
great mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and curbs one’s appetite for a big dinner (no doubt you’ve heard of the ice cream diet, which operates on this principle). Because I love toasted coconut in just about anything, I decided to make Toasted Coconut Ice Cream and serve it on top of a simple glazed
brownie. For the ice cream, I toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (available at health food stores) and infused it into cream and milk for 45 minutes. This homemade coconut milk is full of
toasty coconut flavor, and makes for a very coconut-ty ice cream. The brownie recipe is unparalleled—it’s from my friend Judith Sutton— and can be found here. I gussied the brownies up
a bit by glazing them and drizzling them with some melted milk chocolate. Serve one with a scoop of the ice cream on top and you’ll be in chocolate-coconut heaven, I promise.
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Scatter the coconut onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown. Scrape the toasted coconut into a medium saucepan and add the cream, milk and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 45 minutes.
2. Strain the cream mixture into a 4-cup glass measure, pressing down on the coconut to extract as much liquid as possible. Measure the liquid—you should have 3 cups. If you need to, add some heavy cream until it measures 3 cups. Return the mixture to the saucepan and return to a boil. Remove from heat.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar until blended. Whisk about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. Add this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl in an ice bath and let stand, stirring frequently, until completely cool. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
4. Process the base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze in an airtight container for at least 3 hours before serving.